Affordable HIV medicines allow millions of people around the world to lead longer, healthier lives. But millions more do not have access to affordable treatment. Innovation is needed to ensure that the best medicines reach those who need them the most.
There are 37 million people eligible to receive HIV treatment now according to the World Health Organization (WHO). But only 15 million currently have access. Moreover, of the 3.3 million children living with HIV today, only 32% receive antiretroviral therapy. Low-cost, easy-to-take HIV medicines must therefore be made more available in developing countries where the vast majority of people living with HIV reside. There also is significant need to adapt medicines for use in developing country contexts and simplify treatment for children living with HIV. Currently, none of the WHO-recommended preferred regimens for children exist in paediatric fixed-dose combinations requiring caregivers to use adult formulations, unadapted paediatric drugs or alternative regimens.
Solving the innovation and access problem
The MPP offers a model that works for all stakeholders. Through licences, patent holders have an effective way to share their innovative products in resource-poor settings and may be compensated by a fair royalty. Low-cost manufacturers are producing affordable new medicines more easily and rapidly. Donors and developing country governments are stretching their budgets farther to treat many more people. And, most importantly, people living with HIV are gaining faster access to quality, life-saving treatments.
Robust market competition saves lives
Without robust generic competition for patented antiretrovials (ARVs), prices remain unsustainably high placing a substantial burden on treatment programmes. MPP is currently managing more than 50 sub-licensing projects to speed the development of generic medicines and decrease prices, specifically for new therapies and pipeline products. Since January 2012, MPP’s generic partners have distributed 7.26 million patient-years of HIV treatments. This has saved the international community $119.6 million over the past five years.
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